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A breath of fresh air: Naked ambition for a female CEO

Posted: 10 Jul 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? Renee James? executive? CEO?

OK. This is fairly mundane, although bringing up the work-life balance thing is a little disingenuous. I mean, really, has any Silicon Valley hotshot ever thought about striking this balance?

What really got me, though, is when the letter turns into schmaltz, climaxing with a sunrise epiphany, beside his wife, atop Mount Kilimanjaro. He suddenly realises that there is much more to life than work.

Still, he didn't decide to quit Google right away. A few weeks later, back at the salt mine, he thinks about Tamar, his wife, and he's like, "...I could not find a good argument to tell [my wife] we should wait any longer for us to grab our backpacks and hit the road....many great memories we already have together...I want more. And she deserves more. Lots more."

Predictably, this letter made its rounds on the Internet. To my dismay, it got tons of raves from the denizens of cyberspace. While many saw in Pichette's letter his "authenticity," as he finally grasped the pain of all those regular hard working slobs in Silicon Valley, I saw a sort of narcissistic re-set. Here was a tycoon making millions of bucks. He can afford to retire on any terms he dictates. His "thought process" for walking into the Hemingway sunset with a backpacking trophy wife taught real people nothing valuable.

In the same month that Pichette posted his resignation psalm, Uber CFO Brent Callinicos quit. He also sent out his own benediction, in which he wrote: "Time has a way of passing quickly, easily leaving your heart's desire to "maybe happen later." For me, there is no later. It is now. It is time to do what I have desired for a very long time; time to keep a promise to my wife of not missing another school play, swim meet, or academic achievement of our daughter's childhood. Time; time; time, to encapsulate what matters most to me; time, to admit that every day I work, I lose time with my family; time, to help my daughter understand how important time is before time becomes a blur to her too. It is simply time."

What's up with these pussies?

Where is it written that quitting a job requires bathos and melodrama? Especially when you've built up nest eggs big enough for a hundred lifetimes? Why not just go quietly, instead of rubbing it into all those people who can't afford to chuck it all in favour of junior high school swim meets?

When I think about it, if a female executive had written a letter that contained drivel like, "time; time, to encapsulate what matters most to me," we wouldn't have called her "authentic." She'd just be another broad who lost the rat race. A woman today still can't afford to use her family as a reason to leave her job.

So, I'm pulling for Renee. Naked ambition looks good on a woman.

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